Red Dogs top Cavalry in OT for 1st win
03/22/02 Rapid City Journal
CASPER, Wyo. - Wyoming Cavalry head coach Tyrone Fittje's first win at the helm of a National Indoor Football League team will have to wait at least one more week.
The Rapid City Red Dogs rallied to force overtime, then benefited from a missed extra point by Cavalry kicker Scott Doyle in overtime to pull off a wild 50-49 win at the Casper Events Center.
Fittje, who is in his first year as head coach, rarely showed the Red Dogs the same offensive look more than once in any possession. The Cavs responded by leading for almost the entire game.
But Rapid City quarterback Casey Veenhof threw two TD passes in the final two minutes of regulation to force a tie and overtime.
Under the NIFL overtime rule, each team has alternating possessions at the 25-yard line until one finishes on top.
Veenhof started the extra session by putting together a drive that ended with a two-yard run by Jesse Adams and an extra point by kicker Beau Vinatieri.
Wyoming's rookie quarterback, Matt Strand, answered by hitting Allen Jones with a 4-yard scoring strike. Doyle's kick, however, disappointed a crowd of 3,751 fans by sailing wide left.
"They had a loud crowd here and a great atmosphere to play football and they jumped on top of us right away," Veenhof said. "But we kept on fighting and it just turned out our way at the end."
Fittje was downcast after the loss.
Wyoming seemingly took control of the game with four minutes remaining after a pair of improbable plays. On fourth-and-long at the Wyoming 20-yard line, holder Cory Brooks fumbled a low snap on a field goal attempt, but somehow managed to run 14 yards for a first down.
After Rapid City stopped the Cavs once again, Doyle picked up another bad snap and pitched it to Brooks. The Cavs receiver scrambled to buy time, then threw a perfect pass to lineman Marlon Glaspie in the corner of the end zone for a score.
Glaspie's touchdown was allowed because he lined up as an end in the five-man front used for kicks. Doyle split the uprights to put Wyoming up, 40-33.
Veenhof gave Rapid City another chance by engineering a drive that ended with a 10-yard TD strike to Ryan Speed. Vinatieri missed wide left, however, leaving the Cavs ahead by a 40-39 margin.
When Anthony Simmons returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards for a score - Wyoming's second TD return of the night - Cavalry fans started celebrating with 1:45 remaining.
Doyle pushed the PAT attempt wide left, however, setting up a Veenhof-to-Speed scoring pass that covered 40 yards. Vinatieri was down the middle with his kick.
"We thought we had it pretty much under control with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter, then we had a blown coverage and a couple of miscues on offense and we didn't control the ball," Fittje said. "At a time like that you've got to control the ball and take some time off the clock."
In overtime, Veenhof accounted for 23 yards to set up Adams' scoring run.
Strand was up to the challenge, too, finding Brooks open 14 yards downfield for a key first down. But on the PAT attempt, Doyle's kick missed under heavy pressure from Red Dogs' end Al Everett.
"Basically we killed ourselves," said Brooks. "I personally had some mental errors late in the game that probably cost us. It's not any one person's fault. Everyone just needs to get together."
The Red Dogs return to action March 30 when they host the Sioux Falls Storm at the Rushmore Plaza.
Rapid City Red Dogs 0 14 3 26 7-50
Wyoming Cavalry 14 6 10 13 6-49
Wyoming-Norm Thomas 13 pass from Matt Strand, Matt (kick failed).
Wyoming-Anthony Simmons 2 run (Corey Brooks pass).
Rapid City-Casey Veenhof 1 run (Beau Vinatieri).
Wyoming-Greg Ortberg 51 kickoff return (kick failed).
Rapid City-Tom Skoog 4 run (Vinatieri kick).
Rapid City-Vinatieri 41 FG, 3 plays.
Wyoming-Aldwin Lance 1 run (Doyle kick).
Wyoming-Doyle 34 FG.
Rapid City-Skoog 5 run (Vinatieri kick).
Rapid City-Antonio Conley 40 pass from Veenhof (kick failed).
Wyoming-Marlon Glaspie 17 pass from Brooks (Doyle kick).
Rapid City-Ryan Speed 10 pass from Veenhof (kick failed).
Wyoming-Simmons 45 kickoff return (kick failed).
Rapid City-Speed 40 pass from Veenhof (Vinatieri kick).
Rapid City-Jesse Adams 2 run (Vinatieri kick).
Wyoming-Allen Jones 4 pass from Strand (kick failed).
First downs 19 10
Rushes-Yards 23-45 28-23
Passing yards 302 127
Comp-Att-Int 23-36-4 25-18-1
Total plays-yards 59-347 53-150
Kickoff Returns-Yards 8-155 5-156
Int. Returns-Yards 1-0 4-18
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 5-2
Penalties-Yards 6-54 5-23
Possession Time 58:53 31:07
Sacks By: Number-Yards 0-0 0-0
RUSHING: Rapid City Red Dogs-Skoog 9-26; Adams 4-13; Speed 1-6; Veenhof 9-0. Wyoming Cavalry-Simmons 11-24; Siegan Keys 4-18; Brooks 1-13; Strand 9-(-15); Lance, Aldwin 3-minus 17.
PASSING: Rapid City Red Dogs-Veenhof 23-36-4-302. Wyoming Cavalry-Strand 17-24-1-110, Brooks 1-1-0-17.
RECEIVING: Rapid City Red Dogs-Speed 7-88; Mills 7-79; Conley 4-71; Maseman 4-58; Adams 1-6. Wyoming Cavalry-Brooks 10-72; Simmons 3-17; Norm Thomas 2-17; Glaspie 1-17; Jones 1-4; Keys 1-0.